Monday, October 25, 2010

A week to go

A week from tomorrow, mid-term elections will be over. Today on NPR one panelist referred to this mid-term election as possibly setting the political tone for the next decade. Heck, I thought when Obama was elected the political tone was set for the next decade. Politics, so maddening, so confusing, yet so right.

Fact is, if the Republican's take the House they can't repeal the healthcare bill. They can underfund parts of it, but once the American people realize that the whole bills is so interrelated that you won't be able to change part of the bill without effecting a lot of the bill it will continue on.

Fact is, all of the politicians operate on raising our fear level. Regan asked the American public to think whether or not they were better off four years ago than they are today. My answer is no. I have my home paid for, I spend far less than I make, I've husbanded our resources and my home is renovated and looks good. I don't have cancer, and my heart is ticking along well, so yes, thank you for asking, I am better off than I was four years ago. So are my kids. So is my ex-wife. So are a lot of people I know.

I wish the electorate would rise up and say to Congress you must term limit yourselves. You should not be career politicians who put personal gain over public welfare. So throw the bums out. Elect the Republicans and watch our ever present political process grind down their rough, and ready edges.

Then you know what, in four years we'll ask again, are you better off today than you were four years ago? Know what, I'll bet the answer is yes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Strange Thought

I sincerely believe that man's inability to deal with the unknown led him to create a God. Which man then worshiped as the granter of all good things and blamed for all the bad things. Wars were fought under the auspices of God, races were slaughtered in the name of God. Nowhere have we any proof that the "right" God won. We have stories, but in all of the years of war, slaughter, and genocide has any final verdict been rendered? No, the battles still rage.

What if there really was a God? What if that God had a universal philosophy that all living things were created equal and no one species was any better than any other species? Logic would then say that the species of the world live in harmony and balance with each other, only one species has not. What if all living creatures were following natural rules of evolution. Where then is heaven?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Always two sides

A good friend sent me a slide show with a beautiful rendition of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" as the background. It purported to trace a parallel between the U.S. and Argentina of the past century. Argentina according to the information was second to the U.S. in economy around 1900. They had railroads, industrial development, and a robust economy Then came the progressive/socialist politicians who instituted government run health-care, stimulus packages and appealed to the masses. Thus the disintegration of Argentina and the argument that the U.S. is on a similar track.

I don't say hogwash. However, what concerns me is that the other side of the story is ignored. Yes there was industrial development similar to the U.S. but there was abuse of the workforce, there was no pass through of the riches the industrial and agricultural captains gained. Just as in the U.S.

Are we so naive to think that a group of workers got together and said, lets fork over two hours of our wages every month to a group of people to represent out interests with the owners, and let's call that organization a union. No, people who did not kowtow to the owner's wishes could be black listed, never to work in that community again. They could be summarily fired at a whim without recourse. This country's legal system is built on the right to have your side of the story heard and a judgment rendered. I do not like unions because the nature of the union's philosophy leads to mediocrity. But, unions did not spring up from some satisfied worker wishing to bond together, they arose because of the abuse the owners perpetrated to satisfy their own lust for power and greed for material reward.

A story is told of George Pullman who had built a company town for his workers. Due to a recession in the 1890's the Pullman Palace Car Company was forced to lay off workers, some of whom lived in the company town. When rent came due workers told the company they had no income and could not pay the rent. Pullman was supposed to have replied, well, my bills continue even with the economic downturn, so you must still pay the rent.

I believe in an individual rights. I believe we have the responsibility to take care of ourselves and our families. I do not ask for help from anyone, if possible. But I also believe in being fair and just. Many captains of industry were not, their riches were gained off the sweat of the workers and without care or consideration. Henry Ford did not increase the pay of his workers to $5.00 a day when the average was $1.00 per day out of some sense of humanitarian fairness, but so his workers could afford to buy his cars.

What we seem to have a difficult time accomplishing is a balance. Perhaps it is the the nature of our kind that a balance will never be struck because of the basic competitive nature of mankind. But it should ebb and flow without violent swings, and that is what this country is all about. ;